The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) urges Maine people and visitors to take precautions against tick bites this fall. Maine experiences increased adult deer tick activity in late September through November. Deer ticks are commonly found in wooded, leafy, and shrubby areas, which may include areas around the yard.
Deer ticks can carry the germs that cause tickborne diseases. In Maine, these include Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, hard tick relapsing fever (Borrelia miyamotoi), and Powassan virus. These germs spread through the bite of an infected deer tick. Thus far in 2022, Maine CDC has recorded:
- 1,977 cases of Lyme disease
- 677 cases of anaplasmosis
- 161 cases of babesiosis
- 10 cases of hard tick relapsing fever, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention formerly identified as B. miyamotoi or B miyamotoi disease
- 4 cases of Powassan encephalitis
This is a record high for Powassan encephalitis cases. Maine is also on track to break records for anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and Lyme disease cases this year.
The most commonly reported symptom of Lyme disease in Maine is a “bull’s-eye” rash. Other common symptoms of tickborne disease include body aches, chills, fever, headache, and swollen lymph nodes. If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to a health care provider. Mention any recent tick exposure.
Take steps to limit exposure to ticks and tickborne diseases:
- Know when you are in tick habitat and use caution.
- Use an EPA-approved repellent like DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Wear light-colored clothing that covers the arms and legs and tuck pants into socks.
- Perform tick checks daily and after any outdoor activity.
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